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Author Topic:   The 3-Dimnsional Way To World Peace
ListensToTrees
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Posts: 2627
From: Albion
Registered: Jul 2005

posted February 03, 2008 01:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ListensToTrees     Edit/Delete Message
As we drank ukali, Mother asked Goplaji why the mantra of 'Aum shanti shanti shanti' has become so universally recognised as the supreme mantra?
"If you chant this mantra, the very sound of it is enough to make you return to your centre. It is like the tulsi plant, the river Ganga, or the holy cow, it is a sacred word to make all words sacred.
"Aum is made up of three sounds, A, U, M. In sanskrit, 'A' is the first and 'M' is the last letter of the alphabet, while U represents all the letters in between. So in the mantra Aum the entire structure of the language is distilled. It is our essence of all speech and of all existence, because according to our ancient tradition, existence itself emerged out of the sound 'Aum'.
"Goddess Uma, the consort of Lord Shiva, takes her name from the mantra Aum because she is the mother of all creation. Uma means mother. The mantra Aum is the Mother Principle. It means all, whole, complete. In Aum nothing is left out and everything is included".
While Gopalji was speaking Mother became totally absorbed, and her ukali was getting cold. I could see why Mother was so fond of Gopalji. He had such a clear and simple understanding of the matters which interested her.
Goplaji knew the Bhagavad Gita, which means Song of the Lord, one of India's great scriptures, by heart. He considered this "the most beautiful and eloquent poem ever written, where sound, mind and meaning converge". Goplaji was a Sanskrit scholar- although I don't know what difference that made, since Mother was as fluent in elucidating profound truths. Her illiteracy was no handicap. I was happy that I grew up in the company of such a mother and teacher.

Goplaji had not finished; he was enjoying himself in explaining the meaning of Aum to Mother.
"Aum is an affirmative mantra. It simply means 'yes'- yes to existence, yes to the sun and moon, yes to trees and rivers, yes to our friends and families, yes to you and me, yes to this brew we are drinking, yes to life and its beauty. It is a mantra of acceptance and openness, a mantra of positive thinking. We should chant it as often as we can. There is no fixed time for it. We don't have to sit cross-legged in a room to chant it; we can chant it while eating, bathing, walking- any time".
There was a pause. Mother poured more ukali into Goplaji's brass cup. In our house there was neither glass, china, nor plastic. Utensils were made of metal: brass, bronze and silver. Goplaji held the cup with a handkerchief, as their was no handle, to avoid being burned. He was savouring the drink. After allowing a brief breathing space Mother probed him further:

"Then how about shanti, shanti, shanti?"

It seemed as if Gopalji was waiting for such a question, and I was waiting too. Conversations between Mother and Goplaji were never boring.
" 'Shanti' in Sanskrit simply means peace. Peace is the ultimate discovery. Aren't we all searching for peace? When we are at peace we can find happiness and fulfilment".
"But why do we need to say it three times?" Mother asked.
"First of all we have to make peace with ourselves by accepting who we are. Each and everyone of us is a particular manifestation of the universal energy. We need to recognise that particularity and 'eachness'; that individuality. Often we have a habit of despising ourselves; 'I am not good enough' is a very common expression. This means I am at war with myself. Unless I can make peace within, how can I make peace without? Without inner peace no outer peace can be realised.

"If our society is full of people who have self-respect, have no negative thoughts, and who have achieved a degree of peace of mind, then naturally they will not fear any 'enemies'. But if spiritually we have not been able to overcome our personal fears then it is very easy for governments and military leaders to encourage fear of an external enemy. Every day they tell us about the enemies. It suits them. It is in their interest. They want to create fear and keep us in fear. Fear of our neighbours, fear of Hindus, fear of Muslims, fear of Christians, fear of other countries. We are all divided into different groups and fear somebody. We even fear our wife or husband, or fear our children. No wonder that we have leaders who spend much of the world's resources on armaments! It may not be so easy to see the connection between spiritual peace and political peace, between inner peace and world peace, but these two aspects are inseparable, totally interlinked.

"As long as we expect the world to change in our image, it will not change. The fear, the mistrust, the competitiveness, the insecurity that we see between nations and their leaders are rooted in us. The fear we have in our lives accumulates, and becomes national fear, national mistrust, national disunity, national insecurity.
"So unless we begin with ourselves we cannot achieve peace; we cannot even begin to understand what peace means.
"Once I have made peace with myself I have to make peace with the world. Like thinking 'I am not good enough', we also think 'My family is not good enough, my work is not good enough, society is not good enough, government is not good enough'. We are possessed with this negative force, and therefore there is no peace. So we need to recognise the essential and intrinsic goodness of the world, and build upon it the ideal world of our dreams. Then we will have world peace".
That was the time of our second world war, so he continued, "There is a false superiority from which we suffer: 'I am better than you, my religion is better than yours. My country is superior to yours' and so on. This kind of thinking produces inter-religious and national wars. Therefore, making peace with other races, religions and nations is included in this chant". Goplaji paused for a moment.
"And why do we invoke peace the third time?" Mother asked.
"When there is world peace, then we make peace with nature, with the cosmos, with the gods- with the universe. The world does not only consist of humans- and therefore we need to make peace with all life forms, going beyond the human world. The whole earth is one family- humans, animals, birds, plants- all are related, and therefore we chant 'peace' three times so that it prevails and permeates these three spheres, personal, social and cosmic. We send our noble thoughts of peace to all corners of the universe."

Mother had no watch, and nor did Goplaji. I could sense that Goplaji was ready to leave, yet somehow he felt that what he had said was inconclusive. He stood up, and so did Mother and I, but we did not move.
Goplaji looked serious, and he said: "But we mustn't think that personal peace is separate from world peace, nor world peace separate from cosmic peace. It is not that we have to wait for world peace until we have achieved personal peace. Personal, political, and planetary peace are to be pursued together. One includes and reinforces the others. One kind of peace is not possible without the others. The three dimensions of peace belong together". Goplaji smiled. Now he looked relaxed and with both palms together he bowed. Mother bowed to him and I touched his feet. He put his hand on my head in blessing.


From the book "You Are Therefore I Am" by Satish Kumar.

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